Intermediate Acting

Intermediate acting insulins (basal insulin) contain added substances (buffers) that make them look cloudy. Intermediate-acting insulins are usually taken in the morning and at bedtime. Often used with rapid-acting or short-acting insulin. Intermediate-acting insulins information is as follows:

  • Onset (How fast): 2 to 4 hours
  • Peak Time: 4 to 12 hours
  • Duration (How long): 12 to 18 hours
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Intermediate-acting insulin

Intermediate-acting insulin is a type of insulin that is used to control blood sugar levels in diabetics. Intermediate-acting insulin, such as NPH (Neutral Protamine Hagedorn) insulin, is a form of insulin that is used to control blood sugar levels in diabetics. It is referred to as “intermediate-acting” because it sits somewhere between rapid-acting insulins (which operate fast but have a short duration of action) and long-acting insulins (which deliver a slow, steady release of insulin over a long length of time). NPH insulin is a mixture of insulin and protamine, a protein that slows insulin absorption. When compared to rapid-acting insulins like insulin lispro or normal insulin, this combination results in a longer period of activity.

Intermediate-Acting Insulin Types:

NPH (Neutral Protamine Hagedorn) insulin is the most often used intermediate-acting insulin. The most popular and commonly utilized kind of intermediate-acting insulin is NPH insulin. It comes in a variety of brand names and formulas. NPH insulin is sold under a variety of brand names, including:
1. Novolin N: Novolin N is a Novo Nordisk brand of NPH insulin. It comes in vial and FlexPen (insulin pen) versions.
2. Humulin N: Eli Lilly and Company manufactures Humulin N, a kind of NPH insulin. It comes in vial and KwikPen (insulin pen) versions.
3. ReliOn N: This is a less expensive variant of NPH insulin that is available at Walmart and is used by those who want a lower-cost choice for managing their diabetes.
Please keep in mind that the availability of some brands and formulations varies by region and country. However, when it comes to intermediate-acting insulin, NPH insulin remains the first choice. It is widely used in diabetes therapy and can be combined with rapid-acting or short-acting insulins to form mixed insulin regimens that provide both immediate and intermediate blood sugar control. Based on the individual’s needs and blood sugar control goals, the type of insulin and its specific regimen should be set in conjunction with a healthcare specialist.

Onset of Action

NPH insulin usually begins to function within 1 to 2 hours of administration. NPH insulin typically has a peak effect 4 to 8 hours after injection. This is when it has the most effect on decreasing blood sugar levels. NPH insulin has a half-life of 10 to 16 hours, making it useful for controlling blood sugar levels for a significant portion of the day.Subcutaneous injection of intermediate-acting insulin via insulin syringes, insulin pens, or insulin pumps is the most common method of administration. Mixing with Other Insulin Types: To offer both short-term and long-term blood sugar management, NPH insulin can be combined with short-acting or rapid-acting insulin (e.g., normal insulin or insulin lispro). This combination can mirror the body’s natural insulin secretion rhythm.
It’s vital to note that insulin therapy should be tailored to the patient’s specific needs and blood sugar management goals, and the choice of insulin type and regimen should be determined in cooperation with a healthcare provider.
Mixing with Other Types of Insulin – NPH insulin can be mixed in the same syringe with short-acting or rapid-acting insulins, such as normal insulin or insulin lispro. This combination is known as “mixed insulin” because it provides both immediate and intermediate blood sugar management.
Insulin type and regimen should be tailored to an individual’s specific needs, blood sugar control goals, lifestyle, and other considerations. Healthcare practitioners are critical in assisting patients in selecting the best insulin therapy for their situation.
NPH is an intermediate-acting insulin that provides a balance between rapid-acting and long-acting insulins, allowing individuals to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day and night.